As we're in the midst of the giving season and just a few days away from putting 2020 in the rearview mirror, I thought it might be a good time to appreciate all that we have to be grateful for, even in challenging circumstances. When I think of RunVermont, I think of the extended family that comes together in so many different ways to celebrate all that running provides for us. And I can't help but think of the many family members that have inspired us with their personal stories -- some humorous, some heartwarming, and many just to fill you with a sense of wonder.


I think of the people like Meb Keflezighi, whose personal story of overcoming adversity to escape horrific conditions in his home country of Eritrea to go on to become one of the most accomplished runners of all time. Violence and terror had touched Meb's life at an early age and had also impaced the Boston Marathon in 2013. Who will ever forget the image of Meb crossing the finish line in Boston one year later to state for runners all over the world that no, terrorism will not conquer the human spirit and take our freedoms away.


I think also of people like RunVermont Hall of Famer Zeke Zucker who came out to run the Half Unplugged and quietly laid down a sub 2-hr half marathon at the young age of 76. I fully expect that Zeke will be running for many years to come. I also think of our volunteers who have given their time and energy to support the many races of RunVermont and out not-for-profit mission over the past 32 years. I think of the people who have served as staff with RunVermont and all of our Board Members over the years. This extended family has always been ready and able to come to the aid of those in need.


So today, I would like to pay tribute to the RunVermont family with both a pledge and an invitation. First the invitation, I would ask that you consider submitting any story of personal inspiration that you may know of or have shared with others that might inspire us. We would love to share these stories with the rest of the family over the holidays as a reminder that we all have more to be grateful for than we might consider. 


And now for the pledge. One of the most compelling inspirational stories that I have encountered during my time with RunVermont is that of Colleen Kelly Alexander. Colleen joined us for the marathon a few short years ago to share her story of perseverance after a horrific accident to once again perform ad an endurance athlete. Click on the link to get Colleen's story if you're not familiar with her journey. To say thank to Colleen for sharing her story with us all, I will be making a personal donation to her primary charity, the American Red Cross in the amount of $100.


I will extend this pledge to anyone who might care to provide some other inspirational stories. We'll select on story for each day remaining in the Holiday Week Running Streak and if you're story is selected, I'll make a similare donation to the charity of your choice.


For a chance to win a donation to your charity, simply comment on this blog post with your story and include an image if you can. Or tag us on Instagram or Facebook with your story.


So while we can't all yet gather, maybe we can still remind one another what it means to be part of the RunVermont family.


RunOn. RunStrong. RunVermont.


Peter Delaney